Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. is the only news agency providing information of progressive, democratic movements in Japan

LDP's draft constitution calls for state intervention in political parties

The Liberal Democratic Party's draft of a new Constitution published in November 2005 includes a section about political parties that states, "The state must strive to maintain the transparency and fairness of activities and sound development of political parties" (Article 64, section 2).

In November 2004, the LDP published an outline of a draft Constitution which frankly proposed to enact a political party law, stating, "The inner structure and the activities of political party must be in line with principles of democracy, and the criteria will be established by law."

In the House of Representatives Constitutional Research Commission discussion, some members insisted on the need to include in a new Constitution a provision that governs inner party order and democracy and disclosure of funds-related information of political parties in order to maintain freedom, fairness, and transparency. It is clear that they are trying to make the government intervene in parties' internal affairs by revising the Constitution.

A political party is an independent organization that should carry out activities without state control or regulation based on the freedom of association guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution. Its exercise of this principle must be fully secured. It has already been clear that a party cannot conduct politics in the interest of the public if it receives government subsidies or donations from corporations or organizations. If a law imposes criteria for internal rules or activities on political parties, their freedom will be limited within the structure that the ruling party approves.

In the 1980s, the LDP under the Nakasone Cabinet tried to enact a political party law. Its outline of a draft political party bill in 1983 required a party to contribute to prevention of revolution as the criterion of authorization. Facing strong public criticism, the LDP could not submit the bill to the Diet.

With the aim of establishing a "two-party system" composed of the two conservative parties, the LDP and the Democratic Party of Japan, business circles intend to establish a political party law, along with the establishment of an election system only made up of single-seat constituencies by abolishing proportional representation constituencies in order to exclude the Japanese Communist Party. The establishment of a political party law is nothing but suicidal for parliamentary democracy.
- Akahata, July 26, 2006

Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved.